Dec. 30, the Sixth Day of Christmas.
I worked a full day today. It's an odd thing, rising in the dark and going about your business as the sun lumbers its path, and then returning home just as the blueing sky returns to darkness. The world seems small somehow, more self-contained. Your life is suddenly book-ended by night. And the funny little things we do so importantly in the day feel prim and trite. Where did the light go? I saw it come and leave, almost in one breath; one puff.
So too the year's snuffed. Unlike 2012, where my accomplishments were tangible and/or large enough to be accounted for--moving into our own apartment, setting up house; writing the first draft of the Story, noted for the Tuscany Prize; gathering a small but (in my opinion) impressive group of followers over on Spinning Straw into Gold and laying the foundations for titanic and life-long friendships--2013's have been more subtle, internal. But the internal changes are the most lasting, aren't they? I've come a long way, I think, in a year. I've got stronger, learned some things about myself and loved ones. Juggled a demanding part-time job with child-rearing, housekeeping, and bill-paying. Been held by others at my weakest and held others up in my strength. Been less defensive, asserted a little more. And, more than ever, it's become clear to me where and how I want to continue on my road. Life gets more and more pointed; doors close; the way is whittled down until it is one small twig and only two things remain, to go the direction in which it is pointing or not:
"The issue is now clear. It is between darkness and light, and everyone must choose his side." G.K.C.'s last words.
I don't think God gives us dreams for them to stay dreams. We choose the darkness when we cling to them and horde them, instead of offering them up to Him, where He can cup them in His mighty hands and breathe life into them. It takes quite a bit of faith to hand over those fragile dreams. But I have to believe that God wants for us what is good. He wants for us what we want, if what we want is pure and true to ourselves, and not a distortion of that first thrill in childhood, corrupted by the world's faithless hands.
This year, I'm going to continue working on the Story. I won't say I'll finish it because a thing like this is furtive and doesn't do well under direct pressure. It has to be coaxed, loved into being. I'm going to pray more. I mean really pray. I want to stay off the computer and the internet and read more, walk more in the open air. To take exercise, as long as the reason for it is anything other than to take exercise--what a terrible reason! No wonder I hate it. One should run because one loves the thrill of running, the pounding of feet and the sweet burning of the lungs; one should swim because one wants to beat the waves like a primal being; and one should kick or swing or hit or dunk a ball because it is Such Fun to put a ball into a target, to say, with the angels, "And do this!" and to watch it happen! I want to care less about if I'm pleasing others and more about if I'm pleasing God, and myself. I want to form my son, in mind, body, and spirit, so that at my end, despite my own pitiful failings, I will be able to point to this one good thing and say, "God, he is Yours." I want to make things with my own hands; this secondarily to the writing, but when the choice is between consuming or producing, I hope to chose to make; unless I am in need of rest, and even then, there is prayer.
I want to do all these things as if there's no time in the world and all the time in the world--each new thing with urgency, frivolity, intensity, and attention.
Tomorrow I'm going to post 13 pictures from 2013 that tell the story, in one way or another, of my year; no words allowed. I used to do these "little stories" more often but have been so busy of late (and often ill). That's another resolution: to post more wordless stories to this blog, to be aware of the daily stories I live and to appreciate them enough to capture them on camera. After all, writing words are second nature to me; and it pays to get a little out of one's comfort zone from time to time.
Won't you join me?